Since I attend a university where football is life (GO GATORS!)  and tailgates are revered, I've come to understand a couple things: alcohol can be magical, expect to cheer for reasons that you don't understand and the best part about watching herds of men fight over a sack of leather is eating good food. Eating all that deep fried food and greasy cheese feels good in the moment, but here are seven tailgate snack recipes that will soak up all that alcohol and make you feel better about pigging out at the game. 


Emily Chandel

These "wings" are actually made from cauliflower florets instead of chicken! They're also baked instead of fried so you still get all that crispy, crunchy goodness without all the mess and oil. If you're not a fan of buffalo sauce, substitute any other wing sauce; my favorite is sweet chili sauce.

2. Chips and Guac

guacamole, vegetable, salsa, sauce
Zoe Malin

This recipe for guacamole is an easy, last minute dip for when people are already arriving and you haven't even thought about making food. Avocados are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats which helps lower cholesterol when eaten in moderation. Who doesn't love some avocado?

#SpoonTip: If your avocados aren't ripe yet, take a look at this article on how to ripen an avocado.

3.  Chicken Fajita Nachos

Ashley Peek

This one takes a little longer to make but the results are definitely worth it. These nachos use sautéed chicken instead of ground beef to cut down on the grease. Top the nachos with whatever you want and make it your own! You could even make multiple versions for vegans, vegetarians and meatlovers so everyone is happy.

4. Black Bean Dip 

cereal, coffee, black beans, beans, vegetable, azuki bean, pasture, legume, kidney bean
Zoe Malin

Making your own bean dip allows you to control what goes in it! Say goodbye to the weird ingredients you can't pronounce like "Maltodextrin." This recipe uses refried beans so there's no need to make a mess cooking beans either. 

#SpoonTip: Use canned beans to skip the extra soaking and boiling.

5. Zucchini Fries

Ellen Gibbs

Trying to go low carb? These zucchini fries are just as crispy and satisfying as regular fries. They're also baked for easy cleanup and less fat. Try dipping them in ranch or garlic aioli for a nice flavor combo. 

6. Spinach Dip (Vegan!)

kale, spinach
Susie Choi

Have any vegan tailgaters? They will love this spinach dip made from tofu instead of cream cheese. The tofu makes it creamy and adds some protein too. Try serving it with a vegetable platter, whole wheat crackers or baked pita chips.

7. Homemade Salsa

Caroline Ingalls

Making your own salsa allows you to control the perfect blend of spices and texture. Do you like your salsa extra chunky and super hot? Make it yourself. It's super easy and perfect for dipping. Make your own baked tortilla chips if you're feeling ~fancy~. 

These tailgate snacks are great year round too - don't limit yourself to just football games. From hosting a chill kickback to celebrating a big win, these recipes are perfect.